Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beijing: Pensioners--Getting Out, Getting Fit

(This is part of a series of posts on our recent trip to China. We'll be posting throughout the summer as we bum around at or near home.)

Wow, when was the last time we put up two substantive posts in a day? Though this one is less substantive than the last post on the Temple of Heaven--just a quick review of all the neat things Chinese pensioners, housewives, and other folks who are free during the workday do for fun. Seriously, you can find hordes of older folks out enjoying themselves and getting exercise in almost any public green space in Beijing. Most of the videos below are from the Temple of Heaven, though the last is from Jingshan Park.

Tai Chi, a blend of meditation and stylized martial arts.

Badminton (this is also big in Korea). My apologies for the jerky video--in retrospect, I probably should have stopped walking as I filmed.

Mass calisthenics, complete with groovy soundtrack. (By the way--"calisthenics" apparently has an "h" in it. Who knew?)

Ballroom dancing, without the ballroom.

Don't know what to call this--some kind of cool dance that involves keeping a ball stationary on a curved racquet while performing a number of elaborate moves.

On a side note, these ladies were really sweet when we asked if we could video them. And, like most of the people we met, they were really impressed with how well Nana could speak Chinese!

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